By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
By Nat Daniels

CEO, Estate Agent Today


Property Natter - An Englishman's home is his castle.....more or less!

Interesting report this week in Estate Agent Today on an analysis by the Resolution Foundation thinktank which suggests that the UK’s housing stock is the worst of any advanced economy.

Sounds bad, doesn’t it?

Well I suppose it is….in a way..…but I’m not sure exactly where that information takes us.


In short, the research says that Brits pay more for property and get less in terms of floorspace per person than countries like Germany, France and even Japan!

And there’s more. Or is it less?

UK housing stock is also older than anywhere else in Europe – with a higher proportion of homes built before 1946 (38%) than anywhere else.

The foundation’s principal economist, Adam Corlett, says: “Britain’s housing crisis is likely to be a big topic in the election campaign as parties debate how to address the problems of high costs, poor quality and low security that face so many households.

“By looking at housing costs, floorspace and wider issues of quality, we find that the UK’s expensive, cramped and ageing housing stock offers the worst value for money of any advanced economy.

“Britain’s housing crisis is decades in the making, with successive governments failing to build enough new homes and modernise our existing housing stock. That now has to change.”

So we need to build more houses. I think we knew that, didn’t we? And surely the point is that the British housing market is just that – the British market! And more and more of us want to buy our own homes – despite the massive financial sacrifice that the process entails.

The truth is that home ownership is a desire embedded within British culture – much more so than in other countries. Inevitably, that creates pressure on supply which, in turn puts pressure on prices.

And whether a house is a new build or an Edwardian Terrace, price rises over the last decade or so have more than justified the level of investment.

No-one would deny how difficult it is for thousands of first time buyers to get on to the housing ladder in the UK and that the next Government, of whatever political persuasion, must take action to get Britain building. But there are plenty of other countries facing housing crises and I’m not even sure that international comparisons are particularly helpful when markets differ so wildly.

Don’t hang fire!

For those thinking about making a move some time this year, there was a warning this week from Estate Agency brand, Winkworth – do not wait until after the General Election to list your home.

With the so-called Boris Bounce in mind, they commissioned Dataloft to examine price changes before and after the six general elections since the Blair landslide of May 1997.

Using Land Registry information, researchers found that in the three months before the December 2029 election, prices went up across the country by 4.2%.

Three months after the nation voted, the rise was just 0.7%.

Only after the 2005, 2010 and 2017 elections did price growth exceed the preceding period.

Reminds me of that quote by Canadian political philosopher and anarchist, Emma Goldman:

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

Smallest room with a view

Property Natter - An Englishman's home is his castle.....more or less!

We hear so much about cash-strapped local authorities that it was something of a relief this week to see that Cornwall Council cashed in big style at the Clive Emson March Auction.

A former public convenience with a guide price of £20,000-plus received 109 bids before eventually being sold for £169,000. Someone spent an awful lot of pennies.

Wouldn’t it have been just perfect if the building had been in the coastal town of Looe?

In actual fact it was 67 miles down the road at Long Rock, Penzance.

Hop-in Centre!